BY ALEXANDRA KEZEK
Sparkill- Last Thursday the Counseling Honor Society of LIU Hudson hosted a presentation on domestic violence and its factors, called “Domestic Violence: The Pain Behind the Headlines.” Thomas Nardi, Roseanne Composto, Carolyn Fish, and Priscilla Prutzman were the four presenters, each discussing their experiences in the profession of counseling and the dynamics of the term “domestic violence.”
Intimate partner abuse is one form of domestic violence that was discussed heavily at the presentation. Intimate partner abuse only covers abuse from a husband, boyfriend, or a same sex relationship, a former relationship, and it includes stalking.
“The tactics used are very deceptive. Some tactics are very positive things like taking her on vacation, buying her flowers…There is always this underlying fear-underneath- (domestically abused women) they’re all scared,” said Fish, executive director of the Center for Safety and Change (formerly known as The Rockland Family Shelter).
Composto, a certified clinical trauma professional and part of the counseling faculty of LIU Rockland asked students to remember the video of Ray Rice beating his girlfriend unconscious-which made nationwide coverage about two months ago. She said “intimate partner abuse” was the definition to describe the incident.
Composto then spoke about the questions in the media that arose from the incident; most of the questions were “why would she stay/put up with abuse?” She stated, “the question that is asked is said with disdain-like why would she do such a thing (stay and put up with abuser)-instead of why would he do such a terrible thing, its so skewed.”
Prutzman, co-founder and executive director of Creative Response to Conflict, started her presentation by asking students and other audience members to think about violence in American society. She said, “We want to create an environment where violence is not the first thing we think of.” She also said sexism is pervasive through the objectification of women.
Nardi, a psychologist and director of counseling programs at LIU Rockland and West Point, said he is inspired to help the defenseless. Nardi also introduced the other presenters and aided them in the open discussions.
The message of the presenters suggested that patterns leading to violence are reinforced in our language, media and even video games like Grand Theft Auto.